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   September 15, 2014

Detail

 

Warsak Silting

Dear Editor

Thank you for highlighting this subject under your letters of  Sept 15, 2014 written by Khan Faraz. The writer has correctly drawn our attention to the dangers if we continue to neglect the silt piling up in the Warsak Dam.

What I would like to add to this is that unless we get to the root cause of this silting that is taking place we will not benefit from replacing the dam's machinery or even making a new dam. At least not in the long term.

The largest tributary of the Kabul river is our Chitral river. It is we who are sending down the silt to the Warsak dam. How and why? Through the ruthless deforestation that has been taking place in our district un-hindered since the past thirty years and with no respite in sight. Courtesy the politicians we have been voting in to line their own pockets.

Large areas of of the most beautiful Deodar pine ( declared as the National Tree of Pakistan) which were guarding our mountain slopes have been mercilessly cut down leaving the scree and gravel to slide down into the river below. The torrents of the river don't like these objects obstructing its course of travel and soon start to crush and send it down as silt which eventually lands up in the intakes of Warsak Dam to fill up its reservoir and damage the revolving blades of its huge turbines.

These man made barren slopes have been destroying our homes and damaging our roads with recurring land slides every year, without fail, even with a small amount of rain. But our voices have not even penetrated the walls our own thana's and kutcheries.

To stop the silt from piling up in the Warsak Dam we have to stop this deforestation. And to stop the deforestation the government has to consciously post the right Deputy Commissioners, District Police officers and District Forest Officers to Chitral. They in turn will be able to stop the greedy politicians who are behind the contractors who are cutting down these trees in the name of "windfalls" , "snowfalls" and "rainfalls". These three words need to be erased from the forest rules at least for the next thirty years because all of the few young trees which remain standing on our slopes can easily withstand these natural phenomenon's which are being wrongly used to destroy our forests, our land, our economy and even the lives of our people.

Siraj Ulmulk
Chitral

 

 

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